The legacy: Port Hudson needed to fall. That was the considering. With Gen. Grant besieging Vicksburg upstream, if the Union Military was to safe unfettered entry to the Mississippi River, it needed to take Port Hudson, simply above Baton Rouge. And so, on Could 17, 1863, Capt. Andre Cailloux, a free man of coloration from New Orleans, led a regiment of fellow black troopers in a cost in opposition to an entrenched Accomplice place there as half of a bigger Union siege. He would not survive the day, changing into one of many first black battlefield casualties of the Civil Warfare. His title would stay on, although. 1000’s turned out for his funeral in New Orleans, and his title would develop into a nationwide rallying cry, used to recruit different black warriors to the trigger – and blowing holes within the fantasy that black troopers weren’t fitted to battle.
The artist: D. Lammie Hanson.
The quote: “Each in life and in loss of life, the energy and braveness of Capt. Andre Cailloux, whose final title could possibly be loosely translated as ‘the Rock,’ impressed and united individuals of African descent of their battle for that new delivery of freedom that Lincoln had so eloquently proclaimed.” — historian Stephen J. Ochs, in a 2013 article for The New York Occasions
Discover extra of D. Lammie Hanson’s work on-line at WhereYart.web and in individual on the The place Y’Artwork gallery, 1901 Royal St.
Cailloux was born a slave on Aug. 25, 1825, on the Duvernay plantation in Plaquemines Parish.
As a younger man, he turned a cigar-rolling apprentice and in 1846 — when he was 21 — was granted his freedom by his proprietor.
He married and had two kids, persevering with his profession as a cigar maker and studying to learn and write.
With the onset of the Civil Warfare, Cailloux joined the Louisiana Native Guards, a Accomplice regiment of free males of coloration. He would develop into a primary lieutenant. “Whereas some free individuals of coloration could have enlisted out of a way of loyalty to their state, most evidently did so out of concern of potential reprisals if they didn’t,” historian Stephen J. Ochs wrote in a 2013 article in The New York Occasions. “In addition they in all probability hoped that their service would translate into improved circumstances for them at struggle’s finish.”
In Could 1862, federal troops seized management of New Orleans and disbanded the Native Guards. U.S. Gen. Benjamin Butler, who was in command of the town, set about elevating three Union regiments made up of free males of coloration. They had been distinctive in that the corporate officers had been black males. The 38-year-old Cailloux was one, commissioned as a captain of E Firm, a part of the thousand-man 1st Regiment.
Not everyone within the metropolis was thrilled with the sight of black Union troopers. “White New Orleanians insulted them within the streets, whereas white landlords harassed their households and slave homeowners refused to permit troopers to have contact with wives who had been nonetheless slaves,” Ochs wrote. ” … White officers snubbed their black counterparts, and white enlisted males refused to salute or obey black officers and showered insults on the enlisted males of the Guards.”
Butler raised the black regiments extra for present than for battle, assigning them to “fatigue obligation” — that’s, handbook labor, corresponding to wood-chopping and trench-digging. That left little time for drilling, however Cailloux made use of that point, together with his firm changing into recognized for its precision.
They lastly received an opportunity to show themselves in battle in Could 1863, as the first and third regiments had been ordered to Port Hudson, the place they’d take part in a normal assault on Accomplice positions there.
Main his firm right into a hail of Accomplice fireplace in what amounted to a suicide mission, Cailloux was hit within the arm with a bullet. Along with his arm dangling at his facet, he charged on, holding his sword aloft together with his good hand. He was ultimately struck within the head and killed by Accomplice artillery fireplace.
Six weeks later, his physique was returned to New Orleans and his title celebrated in a large public funeral — full with full army honors — that gave black New Orleans an opportunity to honor Cailloux whereas concurrently sticking a thumb within the eye of the town’s Accomplice sympathizers.
Andre Cailloux’s stays had been interred in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.